How to Remove Locking Lug Nuts Without the Key

Updated February 21, 2017

Locking lug nuts give car owners an added sense of security and protection for their vehicle's wheels. It becomes a problemwhen the key to the locking nuts is lost or misplaced and the tire needs to be removed. A job as simple as changing a flat tire becomes a major undertaking.

Get a socket that is one size smaller than your locking lug nut from the socket set.

Align the socket over the locking lug nut and hammer it on to the lug nut. It will be a little difficult, but the socket will then be wedged solidly over the nut.

Insert the heavy-duty ratchet wrench into the socket.

Use a "cheater" bar. This is a short piece of pipe that is slid over the end of the ratchet wrench.

Apply slow, steady force, gaining extra leverage and thus more torque. This will allow you to remove both the socket and the locking lug nut.


You will have to throw away both the locking lug nut and the socket used, but this is well worth it when you are in a pinch and really need the lug nuts off.

Things You'll Need

  • Lug nut socket set
  • Ratchet wrench
  • Ball peen hammer
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About the Author

Anthony Smith began writing for Demand Studios in May of 2009 and has since written over 1400 articles for them. He also writes for "The College Baseball Newsletter." He attended the University of New Mexico, and has more than 25 years of experience in the business world.